Archive for August 15, 2019

PKA Technologies Establishes THEA Scholarship for Young Women Pursuing STEM Careers

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 15, 2019 by itnerd

The movement to get more women into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers took a significant step forward today with the announcement from PKA Technologies of the first Technology Higher Education Achievement (THEA) Scholarships. PKA Technologies, the WBENC-certified, woman-owned, New York-based IT solutions company awarded three female students scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,500 in its quest to balance the gender scales in STEM-related fields. PKA co-founder and CEO Felise Katz named the THEA Scholarship in memory of her mother, Thea.

Erika Tan, a recent graduate of Freehold High School in New Jersey, will attend the University of Texas at Austin to study computer science. She received a $500 scholarship. Mariia Kerimova, a computer science major at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, received a $1,000 scholarship and Anisha Shin, a sophomore studying computer engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, received a $1,500 scholarship.

The THEA Scholarship is awarded in three categories: high school, community college, and a four-year college/university. Tan, Kerimova, and Shin were selected from 23 applicants based on their GPA, passion for technology, leadership qualities, and the persuasiveness of a 500-word essay.

THEA Scholarships will be awarded annually. Katz funded this inaugural round of scholarships with a personal contribution. PKA plans to grow the scholarship fund donations in the coming years – allowing the company to increase the award amounts and the number of female recipients.

Huawei’s Foldable Phone Delayed AGAIN

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 15, 2019 by itnerd

Huawei has a ton of problems. And their foldable phone dubbed the Mate X is one of them. You might recall that it was recently delayed in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Fold gong show. But they promised a ship date of “September”,

That ship date isn’t going to happen. TechRadar attended a Huawei event yesterday where it was announced that the Mate X was delayed again:

There’s no possibility of a September launch date anymore, which leaves the door open for the Samsung Galaxy Fold to be the first foldable to market. However, the company is certain the Mate X will launch before the end of 2019.

Clearly the company is being cautious as they don’t want to be Samsung. Thus it will be interesting to see what actually ships. Assuming that it does ship. Also of note, Huawei hinted at a follow up device or devices. But if I were them, I’d focus on getting this one out first.

Microsoft Contractors Are STILL Listening To Cortana Requests And Skype Calls…. WTF?

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 15, 2019 by itnerd

You might recall that Microsoft was one of a number of companies who were using humans to listen in on requests to their respective voice assistants. Which of course has now become a major story in the world of tech as it’s seen as a privacy invasion. Microsoft didn’t really back down from this. Though I suggested that they should.

Motherboard is now reporting that Microsoft is still doing this with Cortana requests and Skype calls. And since there’s no opt out (though you can delete existing recordings), your choices are to either live with this, or turn off Cortana (I have done so on my Windows 10 computers) and stop using Skype (I’ve cut back on using Skype but I cannot ditch it completely). Seeing as the other companies in this mess have pledged to make changes now or in the very near future, it perplexes me why Microsoft would decide that this is worth fighting for. If I were them, I’d be altering course as at the moment, they are on an island all by themselves and the optics don’t look good.

Capital One Faces More Trouble In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 15, 2019 by itnerd

If facing a $350 million class action lawsuit in Ontario isn’t enough, Capital One who was pwned by a hacker recently, which in turn leaked the personal data of 100 million people including 6 million or so in Canada has been slapped with a $600 million lawsuit in Ontario.  Lawyer Vadim Kats is behind this latest suit and you can find the details here.

But that’s not all. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is investigating this. And that’s really bad news for the credit card company as The Privacy Commissioner of Canada can really make companies who are in this situation pay. And what’s interesting is that I haven’t heard of any action from the US Congress. Which is weird as we’re just entering an election cycle over there and this sort of thing is really good for US politicians to get some TV time to help their re-election chances.

What’s clear here is that Canada is taking the lead in terms of holding Capital One accountable for this. Thus I’ll be watching this closely as this is sure to evolve quickly.

Review: Nikon Coolpix P1000

Posted in Products with tags on August 15, 2019 by itnerd

During our recent road trip, my wife and I had with us the Nikon Coolpix P1000 which is an insanely versatile camera as we were able to take great pictures in all sorts of situations. It has a 16MP image sensor with an absurdly big and long 125x zoom lens. This makes it a big and heavy SLR sized camera with a non replaceable lens. Right off the top I will say that there are some things that I will mention that may make it not suitable for every photographer. But I think that a lot of people will find it something that they want to put in their camera bag. One plus that I will point out to more advanced photographers, it supports RAW. Just make sure you have a big enough SD card if you go that route. In my case, I went with a 128GB SD card to make sure that I was covered

So since I talked about the fact that it is big and heavy, I will also mention that it is easy to hold which is a bit of a surprise given how big this camera is. And as long as you haven’t got the lens fully extended, the balance is decent. There’s a hot shoe (for an external flash or microphone) and a pop-up flash, both centered behind the lens, on the top plate. The pop-up flash is big, and rises a couple of inches above the body when opened for use. That allows you to use the hot shoe for an external microphone which makes this an ideal rig for vloggers seeing as this camera also does 4K video.

You can select from a number of modes for your photographic needs. Auto, Progam, Aperture, Shutter, and Manual exposure modes are onboard. But the P1000 includes a Scene recognition setting, a Moon mode, a Bird mode, and a number of Instagram-style filter effects, ranging from desaturated bleach bypass to a high-contrast black-and-white. I have to admit that I left it in auto most of the time. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—Nikon calls its Wi-Fi system SnapBridge. The P1000 can send images to your smartphone automatically or on demand via Bluetooth, and it can be remotely controlled via your phone via Wi-Fi with a live feed to your phone’s screen. Nikon also offers a wireless Bluetooth remote for remote image capture. Battery life is rated at 250 shots. But I got about 300 before needing to charge it. Strangely, I was unable to charge it with any third-party AC adapters or power packs. I tried a few, including the plug that came with my iPhone, but only the Nikon adapter worked for me. That is a bit limiting as you can’t do an emergency charge in the field. Thus you need to ensure that it is fully charged before you go out or have a spare battery pack on hand. I should also note that autofocus speed is very quick when shooting at a wide angle. But it does slow down when zoomed all the way in. Finally, there’s an LCD screen that you can position at a variety of angles to accommodate your shooting needs. Plus there’s a viewfinder that also has a LCD screen that I found to be better to use in bright sunlight.

So, what do the pictures from this camera look like? Here’s a few examples in a variety of lighting conditions:

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From a zoom perspective, here’s a couple of examples which were pretty impressive:

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And here’s a 4K video that I shot with the Coolpix P1000:

The bottom line is that this is versatile camera. There’s a ton of functionality on hand that allows you to take pictures in any condition, or allow you to express your creative side. Other than the size and weight of the camera, not to mention the inability to charge it easily, I really have nothing negative to say about the Nikon Coolpix P1000. It goes for $1400 CDN. My suggestion is that if the Nikon Coolpix P1000 appeals to you, I would visit your Nikon dealer to try one out and make sure it’s right for you.